During my mayoralty, Ithaca can become a model for America of generosity and mutual aid, of budgetary and fuel efficiencies, of ecological development, of community-based job creation, of high-quality low-cost housing, of access to medical and dental care, of providing a real future for our kids.
Particularly during this era when federal and state monies are being diverted to fight endless global war, local candidates should be asked specifically how we'll maintain community services, how we'll find revenue and cut costs, and what kind of Ithaca we'll leave for the next mayor and the next generation.
My campaign has published a flyer with 50 suggested solutions to our challenges. Most are proven practical elsewhere; some are entirely novel.
We must, I believe, explore such directions. We'll either develop systems of community power and thrive, or we'll give more of our power to distant boardrooms and remote bureaucracies.
I'd like to address two prime questions my candidacy has raised. My presence on the ballot has been regarded by many as a threat to divide the progressive vote. Yet there are issues facing voters this year which make mine a distinctive candidacy.
I have great respect for my fellow mayoral candidates. All of us have proven our dedication to this proudly unusual community. Each of us offers different skills.
That said, our Republican and Democratic candidates seem to share the belief that big box stores or little big box stores in the Southwest district will benefit the city overall. My distinct belief is that automobile-dependent multinational corporate development will bring in more traffic and take away more money net.
It's my distinct belief that locally-based economic development is a superior path which is blocked by chain stores and that a mayor can effectively prevent far more damage in the Southwest of this city.
The Republican and Democratic candidates likewise apparently share the belief that either taxes will be raised again or social programs will be cut. My distinct belief is that there are new sources of revenue available to us, and that social programs pay their own way by reducing the costs of social alienation.
Some have questioned my diplomatic capacity, which has been proven by patient development of Ithaca's local currency system-- personally promoting this money to thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses. The same painstaking diplomacy, for the Ithaca Health Fund, created a plan which now insures hundreds of Ithacans for everyday medical emergencies, for just $100 per year.
At the same time, NO candidate should pretend that they can please everyone. Voters need to know where candidate loyalties lay. When this city has been threatened by superhighways, incinerators, sprawl, or shopping malls in floodplains, I have since 1973 responded decisively and effectively.
Twelve days from today, voters will decide which direction to encourage. Forces beyond Ithaca are changing Ithaca forever. We might as well take control of our destinies, together, and enjoy the ride.